Last night on Instagram I posted a very curious photo with the caption, “This wall must be empty by tonight.” Well, today I am telling you why.
I am always on the look out for better study tactics. Some have been complete failures and others are remarkably helpful. As I was thinking of the day’s to-dos and writing reminders to myself on sticky notes to place around the apartment, I had an idea. It was something that would be malleable enough that anyone can personalize it. It was simple and creative. It was a system.
For every assignment I had due the next day, I wrote each one down on a separate sticky note. I thought of what regularly distracts me while studying, the television, and put my sticky notes on the wall behind it. What I created was a physical system of reminders and incentives.
As I finished an assignment, I ripped the sticky note off the wall and threw it away, physically discarding the to-do instead of just checking it off and also mentally taking one more thing away from my large workload. It was an incentive because I looked forward to taking down the next sticky note, but also I was able to put smaller notes in between each assignment with a reward on it. If I finished one assignment then I could have a sweet snack and if I finished four assignments I could watch a short show. It is an easily personalized system of incentives and goals.
Placing the notes around my distraction, which in my case is the television, helped because when I looked up, instead of seeing a blank screen that I wanted to be glowing with the newest season of New Girl, I saw my assignments and saw they were not all done and off the wall yet.
Side note, you may have noticed in the photo that my television screen was indeed not blank. Music is a great way to stay motivated while studying, but songs with words can be distracting, However, sometimes the calmer classical music makes me sleepy. It can also be very distracting if, instead of studying, you are using all of your time trying to find the best song. What you saw in the photo is one of my favorite study playlists. It is on YouTube and it is a compilation of upbeat songs with no words. Having just a long playlist like that helps me to not go scrolling through my music library and actually study. This time, I was listening to a Majestic Casual playlist called Escape Everything, A Chill Mix.
We will see how far the sticky note method takes me. For one thing, I’m not sure how many sticky notes I have and for another thing, just like anything else, it will take a little bit of effort to take this extra step to get my work done.
If you try out this method, here is to good luck and even better grades!